Lemons are oval in shape and feature a yellow, texturized outer peel. Like other citrus fruits, their inner flesh is encased in eight to ten segments. While most lemons are tart, acidic and astringent, they are also surprisingly refreshing.
While rarely consumed on their own, lemons make a major contribution to the flavors of many foods we eat. Although you wouldn't choose this tart citrus fruit for a snack, you might well squeeze some lemon juice over a fish fillet, add a wedge of lemon to your tea, or grate some flavorful lemon zest into your favorite cookie dough.
These flavour-packed fruits are loaded with vitamin C, a vitamin whose deficiency can cause scurvy.
During the California Gold Rush, scurvy was so rampant, and fresh produce so scarce, that miners were willing to pay $1 for a lemon--over $17 in today's economy. It wasn't until vitamin C was discovered in 1932 that scientists understood that it was this vitamin, not the fresh fruit itself, that protected against the disease.
Aside from supplying substantial amounts of vitamin C, lemons act as anti-microbials. They destroy putrefactive bacteria in both the intestines and the mouth; used to purify the breath.
Its antiseptic, antimicrobial and mucus-resolving action makes lemons useful during colds and flu.
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